WINDHOEK - Windhoek High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka yesterday morning sentenced convicted killer Elwen Gawaxab to 37 and a half years imprisonment for murder plus a further five years for assault with grievous bodily harm without making any order as to whether the sentences are to run concurrently or consecutively. This means that Gawaxab after serving two thirds of the 37 and a half years will in all likelihood still have to serve two thirds of the five-year sentence.
The judge convicted Gawaxab on September 20 this year for the brutal murder of 40-year old Cathy Marlene Gatonye and attempting to kill Thalitha Patricia Khai-Gu Mungunda during August 18 to 21, 2015 near Otjomuise in Khomasdal. He was convicted of murder with direct intent and assault with intention to do grievous bodily harm after he attacked the two women when an argument erupted between them.
Judge Siboleka said the accused assaulted a defenseless lady continuously, kicked her with shoed feet, stabbed her with a broken bottleneck and dropped a rock on her causing her to die later that day due to multiple incise and stab injuries.
He said violence against defenseless women is a serious concern that has to be dealt with decisively.
Judge Siboleka said that the personal circumstances of Gawaxab, the fact that he is a first offender are outweighed by the brutal manner in which the accused continuously assaulted the deceased even when she was already laying helpless, he still continued to inflict injuries on her for no apparent valid reason.
He further said on the interests of society, the message is very clear. “The assault, and murder of defenseless women and children has uncontrollably gone out of hand,” the judge said and continued: “Although convictees of these heinous crimes have been severely punished, it seems the situation remains unabated. This conduct will however not deter the courts from tackling crimes of this nature with an iron fist. Women have to be protected to enable them to feel safe thereby creating an enabling environment for them to contribute fully and meaningfully to the transformation of our society.”
The judge further narrated what the mother of the deceased said in mitigation of sentence.
Rachel Haipare, 71, testified that the demise of her daughter affected her to such an extent that she suffers from epileptic fits. She also said that Gawaxab has not shown any remorse and to date he did not find it appropriate to say sorry to the deceased’s family members in open court or through his family.
According to Judge Siboleka, the distraught mother persuaded the court to send the accused away for a very long time.
He further said that a nearby resident who observed the assault testified how the accused started pulling the hair/braids of the deceased such that pieces thereof came out and were seen laying on the road. At the scene the judge said, he beat her till she fell to the ground landing on her back. “As if that was not enough, the accused left her laying there helplessly. He walked to the nearby bushes and picked up a bottle, broke it and came back to her. He used the bottle neck and stabbed her several times on her body. He walked back to the same place and picked up a relatively big rock and came back to her. He held it in his two hands, raised them up high and dropped it on her. The accused sat on top of the deceased and held both sides of her face and was moving her head. He thereafter stood up and disappeared under the cover of darkness,” Judge Siboleka narrated.
2018-10-18 09:06:10 7 months ago